Every spring the American Craft Council makes its way to down to the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta for its annual craft show. Featuring the work of over 230 artists from all around the country, the council champions this three-day weekend as, “Craft like you’ve never seen before.” With this endorsement, my awareness of the heavily juried application process, and a couple NCECA conferences under my belt, I had high hopes that this would be an encouraging and, dare I say, inspiring experience. I was sorely disappointed.
The conference center was hemorrhaging cute, kitschy, folksy, craft with a capital “C.” Drab monochromatic patchworks of felted ponchos, that looked suspiciously like cat hair, draped over stacks of exhausted coat hangers. Aisle after aisle was dominated by booths of jewelry, twinkling for the attention of all the white-haired attendees. British potter and Turner Prize winner, Grayson Perry’s criticism of the craft world being a place for women in “dangly earrings” rang obnoxiously true. The overall appeal of the show seemed to be toward the creation and maintenance of a Ms. Frizzle aesthetic as a kooky art teacher. But I’m not here to judge the people. I am here to talk about the art. The problem is I had an extremely hard time determining where the art was exactly. Was it in Tara Locklear’s bold graphic necklaces made from recycled skateboards? Maybe it was in James Borden’s spindly wooden clock sculptures? Metal, wood, and fiber all blurred together in designs that felt excessive and elaborate just for the sake of being so. The beloved Bauhaus phrase of “form follows function” was apparently tossed out with the wood chips.
My home turf of ceramics fell into a similar trap, as I walked past the same glazes and forms I have seen a hundred times over. Floating blues splashing into rusty reds on cylindrical bacon cookers were all lined up for your ultimate pork cooking pleasure. Paveen Chunhaswasdikul’s whistle mugs and ringing wine goblets, although spirited and impeccably crafted, felt gimmicky. This bizarre amalgamation of high and low craft was epitomized with an entire booth of dopey eyed stuffed animal puppets and recycled metal lawn art of dogs playing mini-golf. Needless to say, I was grateful for the scotch bar located directly in the middle of the pavilion, where I could sip and take in the visual chaos. I stood there heartbroken and partially embarrassed for craft. Was this truly the world that I had been striving so hard to be a part of? Did I still want to take on the label as an advocate for craft?
Perhaps these weren’t “my people,” but there is no denying the affordability, accessibility, and relatability of craft. In many ways, I believe it is a gateway into the art world. People know what to do with craft. You can wear it, sit in it, and eat off of it. Craft serves us and is forever linked to function, which means there will always be a need for it somewhere in our lives. But art demands more, less complex forms and more complex thought. With art, we ask what does it mean, instead of what does it do? Above all else, my time at the American Craft Council Show made me confront my own artistic pedigree and biases. It all felt like a wholesome distraction from what is really happening in the world. But what did I expect from heartfelt little sculptures of cats tucking in their kittens goodnight?
This week's writing is dedicated to my sister, Katie. Happy 27th Birthday!
Writing about Dana Schutz's "Frank from Observation" series last week got me curious about other female artists who work with men as the subject of their art. More specifically, I wanted to find a female artist who, instead of inventing a man, worked with a real man to create an entire body of work. I was immediately reminded of the sensuous paintings by Sylvia Sleigh that depict a tan, afro donned man. Sleigh, a pioneer of the feminist art movement, was known for her unconventional portraits of male nudes and her involvement in women-run art spaces like Soho 20 and A.I.R. Gallery. After marrying famed art critic, Lawrence Alloway in 1954, the English couple moved to New York where they immersed themselves in the 60's bohemian art scene of Soho. They were quickly embraced by the community and made friends with artists and critics alike. It wasn't until the 1970s that Sleigh started painting a young musician named, Paul Rosano, who would serve as her male muse for the next eight years. But who was this man and what was the nature of their relationship?
According to a Linkedin profile of the same name, Paul Rosano is a New York based sports writer and editor. He studied at The Berklee College of Music, where he majored in contra basse and music composition. He was part of a Connecticut rock group of the 1960s called Island, that later moved to New York to try and land a record deal. It was during this time that Rosano first met Sleigh while modeling at The School of Visual Arts. If the dates are accurate, Rosano would have been in his twenties and Sleigh in her mid-fifties, happily married to Alloway. Typically, when we think of an artist's muse, like Dora Maar to Picasso or Gala Diakonava to Dali, there is a sexual component at play in the relationship. However, I have found little to no evidence of this with Rosano and Sleigh. In fact, I have found almost nothing at all. With the exception to a 40 second video clip on YouTube with Rosano discussing his experience with Sleigh and his personal music blog, there is no substantial material that documents their time together with the same kind of attention and interest as other artists' muses. What was their relationship? How long did they work together and how many works did Sleigh complete of him? Andrew Wyeth has an entire book dedicated to the paintings he made of his neighbor, Helga Testorf. What gives?
Despite this lack of information, the works themselves are truly revolutionary. In works like Paul Rosano Reclining, Imperial Nude, and most famously Turkish Bath, Sleigh successfully and unabashedly flips the classic objectifying gaze of the female nude on its head. Through these intimate male portraits Sleigh sought to portray equality, humanity, and individuality. She writes, "I made a point of finding male models and I painted them as portraits, not as sex objects, but sympathetically as intelligent and admired people." There is a tenderness and sentimental weight to the works because she clearly had a personal relationship with, not only Rosano, but with everyone she painted. Her meticulous and obsessive attention to detail highlights her subjects individuality. Sleigh's interpretation of Rosano swirling lion's mane of curls is a personal favorite.
Sleigh's work gives female viewers permission to look and gives male viewers the opportunity to be vulnerable. As a culture, we are still not accustomed to seeing such stimulating images of men that spark female heterosexual desire. Sophia Robb's physical response of clenching her jaws to the point of breaking her retainer when seeing actor Michael B. Jordan shirtless in Black Panther is a hilarious, if not extreme, recent example of this. In Katie Geha's Love Letter to Paul Rosano, she explains how her entire art history class audibly gasps when she introduces Paul Rosano Reclining. I encourage you all to look and to embrace the initial shock of these paintings. After a while, you may find it is the lack of exposure to such images that make them more shocking than they really are.
Thanks for reading! Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.
Meredith Mendelson's Article, The Feminist Artist Who Turned her Gaze on the Male Nude
YouTube Clip: Who Was Sylvia Sleigh? (Paul Rosano interview 1:52)
Paul Rosano's site: The Trick is to Keep Going
I've established the difference between the male and female gaze and the ways in which female artists, like Maya Deren and Cindy Sherman, have either embraced or subverted the dominate male gaze of our culture. Within this patriarchal structure, women have long been held as the ultimate object of desire. But what if the roles are reversed? What if man becomes the subject of a female gaze? How is it different? Is it still a desiring and possessive look? This is the crux of my research. I want to know what happens, psychologically and artistically, when women look at men. In order to unravel these questions, I will focus on female artists who use the male body as the subject of their work. The first artist in this investigative series is Dana Schutz.
Schutz is best known for her vibrant gestural oil paintings that often depict abstracted figures in imaginative, if not impossible, situations that skew everyday life. Most recently, Schutz has been under scrutiny for her painting Open Casket, which is based off of the notorious death photograph of Emmett Till and was included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. My interest, however, lies with her "Frank from Observation" exhibition that debuted at the LFL Gallery in the fall of 2002. The exhibition consisted of approximately twelve paintings of fictional man named, Frank. In Schutz's description, "The paintings are premised on the imaginary situation that the man and I are the last people on earth. The man is the last subject and the last audience and, because the man isn't making any paintings, I am the last painter."
Frank, who is best described by art critic, Jerry Saltz as a "puppy-eyed, balding cross between the comedians Chris Elliot and Tom Green," is far removed from the idealized American man. The paintings fluctuate between quiet depictions of Frank posing for Schutz in a variety of colorful landscapes to frantically explosive events that sport narratively charged titles like The Gathering, Suicide, and The Breeders. I cannot resist wanting to put some sort of dark story together, especially when critic interpretations range from sadomasochistic undertones to Frank's eventual barbaric mutilation and murder.
Regardless of whatever horrific conclusions you may deduce from the work, the premise of the "Frank from Observation" series is endlessly fascinating. Instead of choosing to paint a man from reality, Schutz has chosen to invent a man in an isolated and inauspicious scenario with herself. A million questions arise as to the nature of their imaginary relationship as the last man and woman on earth. Schutz writes that, "The psychological and representational implications of painting in a world where reality is relational between two people, or, in a world without anyone to check reality against, is a starting point for these paintings." In the works where Frank is the more realistically rendered like Reclining Nude, Frank as a Proboscis Monkey, and Frank on a Rock, the entire scene feels grounded and emits a sense of gentle serenity. In these three works, Frank appears calm and complicit. If he is threatened by the artist, it is not happening in these particular works.
The notion of Schutz being a threat to Frank is interesting in both a "woman versus man" and "creator versus creation" mentality. Men are physically stronger than woman and will inherently pose more of a threat to them. Freud argued of a literal and metaphorical "castration anxiety" toward women as the "other." I argue of a literal and metaphorical "rape anxiety" toward men when women dare look. It is the threat of rape that inherently complicates the female gaze. As his creator, Schutz possesses a particular maternal power over Frank's image. She has birthed him, in a sense, and may alter him in any way she deems necessary for the sake of the art. In paintings like The Breeders, her destruction and control over his image is no different than the exaggeration and manipulation of the female body by artists like John Currin. Perhaps it is Frank's threat to the artist as a woman that leads, ultimately, to his demise.
In the coming year, Frank does return to Schutz's work, but this time as a maker. In Chicken and Egg we see the invented man is inventing something for himself, curiously intact and tranquil against a starry night sky. Overall, I think Schutz's "Frank from Observation" series becomes more of an exploration of man as material than subject. He is not an object to be desired, but a material to be used and divided within her own two-dimensional abattoir. Therefore, Schutz may not be the best example of an artist who uses the female gaze as a way to express heterosexual desire for men. These works do however align more with Dr. Athena Bellas's description of the gaze being a searching look for the women trying to come into a position of agency in relation to the male body, even if that newfound agency leads to the complete obliteration of the other. Unfortunately for Frank, Schutz has given us no reason to suspect a Pygmalion scenario here.
What do you think? Can you truly desire someone that does not exist? Let me know by commenting below and thanks for reading!
Press Release for "Frank from Observation"
Jerry Saltz's Review, Wild Card
Schutz's comments on The Breeders
Women have occupied the role of the objet petit a within the gaze of America’s patriarchal culture for decades. French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, Jacques Lacan explains that there is an intimate relationship between the objet petit a, which coordinates our desire, and the gaze, which threatens to undo it through the interruption of reality (Lacan 9). At the heart of desire is an ever-widening void that we incessantly and unsuccessfully try to fill. Forever unattainable, the object of desire is ultimately nothing more than a screen for our own narcissistic projections. The gaze, as Lacan writes, is dismantled through the realization that behind our desire is nothing but what we lack.
Female artists since the 1980s have attempted to overthrow this gaze by appropriating from and reinterpreting the very tropes of popular culture that have been used to oppress them. Artist, Cindy Sherman uses photography to generate an unpredictability in her image and to challenge the dominant ideologies about female identity. Sherman’s Untitled black and white studies for film stills use photography as it relates to pop culture. Made during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Sherman costumes herself to resemble female leads of Hollywood B movies of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s (Owens 73). She does not reference specific movies as much as she references mid-century female looks of cinema.
In his essay “The Discourse of Others: Feminists and Postmodernism” Craig Owens equates Sherman’s play-acting as an acting out of the psychoanalytic notion of femininity as masquerade and as a representation of male desire (Owens 75). “One is always in representation, and when a woman is asked to take place in this representation, she is, of course, asked to represent man’s desire (Owens 75).” If men are in visual possession of women, is Cindy Sherman simply acknowledging the inevitable objectification of her image and exploiting this possession for her own gain?
The power in this series lies in the instability of her identity. Although her photographs are always self-portraits, Sherman is able to transform her appearance to such a degree that she never appears to be the same woman or model. Kofman writes, “Because with ‘woman’ men never know for sure with whom they are dealing, they try to overcome her lack of ‘proper’ nature and propriety by making her their property (Modleski 95).” In this regard, perhaps photography is the perfect medium for the gaze to nourish and consume its desire to control the female image. After all, Sherman has been able to sustain an extremely successful career by producing work that clearly satisfies this hunger.
Thanks for reading! Please share and comment below to let me know your thoughts.
Jacques Lacan, “IV: on the gaze”
Tania Modleski, “Femininity by Design” 2005.
Craig Owens, “The Discourse of Others: Feminists and Postmodernism” 1983.
Cindy Sherman's "Untitled Film Stills"
In response to feedback from last week's post, I thought it would be important for me to define my terms by articulating exactly what I mean when I refer to the "female gaze." However, in order to fully understand the presence of a female gaze, we must first understand the male gaze as defined by feminist film theorist, Laura Mulvey. In her seminal essay, Visual Pleasures in Narrative Cinema, Mulvey uses psychoanalytic theory to demonstrate how the unconscious of patriarchal society has structured the form of film. She argues that the default "gaze" in cinema is that of a heterosexual masculine male. It is created by men for men to satisfy a scopophilic desire to consume the image of a woman. An iconic scene from The Postman Always Ring Twice (1946) is an excellent example of this. In a previous blog post, I examine the male gaze more in-depth, but for now I will only refer to it in relationship to the female gaze.
One of the most important points to understand about the male gaze, in relationship to the female equivalent, is its possessive and sadistic qualities. The male gaze promotes a sexualized way of looking that empowers men and objectifies women. The female character becomes the sensationalized object of his desire and the male character the salivating spectator. As Janice Loreck writes, "Her feelings, thoughts, and own sexual drives are less important than her being "framed" by male desire." If she displays any kind of independence, promiscuity, or deceitful behavior she is ultimately punished by the male. Her punishment reinforces his dominance over her and her submission to him.
Is the female gaze simply the inversion of the male gaze? Well, not exactly. The female gaze is a response to Mulvey's essay that acknowledges the presence of a female viewership and perspective. Instead of dominating, possessing, and punishing the male body, Dr. Athena Bellas describes it as a much more exploratory and searching look that is seeking, "...a place for the woman spectator, the woman director, and the woman character to actually come into a position of agency in relation to the male body." This reflects my own thoughts entirely. By simply acknowledging that a female gaze exists and is of value, offers encouragement and validation to female consumers of visual culture. But what do women really want to see when the look upon the movie screen? A regurgitation of the societal oppression they experience in daily life?
The short avant-garde films of Maya Deren offer a unique and extremely captivating example of the female gaze from the perspective of a female filmmaker. Deren would write, direct, produce, edit and sometimes star in her films, which unhinge the conventional narrative formula of Hollywood by adapting the logic of dreams, myths, and ritual. In films such as At Land, we see Deren wash up on shore and slowly open her eyes. Throughout the film she seems to be constantly searching for something as she drags herself through the sand, across a dinner party table, and through a rocky beach landscape. She has agency and control, not only of the camera, but of the entire scene as she wriggles across the table seemingly invisible to all of the party guests. She transcends the label of "objet petit a" as she seamless moves through ever changing scenes without being overtly sexualized or encountering the male gaze. If anything, she leaves the viewer wondering what precisely is the subject of her gaze.
Honestly, I could spend a series of blog posts discussing only the works of Maya Deren, but I digress. My interest in the female gaze is specifically in regard to the way that women look at men throughout visual culture. How do heterosexual women express their desire for men in a visual language? What does that look like? This is the challenge I present myself as a woman and as an artist.
Thanks for reading! Please share and comment below to let me know your thoughts.
In her article “When the Woman Looks,” Linda Williams examines horror and psychopathic forms of film to discuss the various ways the woman is punished for looking. Williams’s exploration reveals a surprising, and at times subversive, affinity between the monster and woman. “When cinema permits the woman’s look, she not only sees a monster, she sees a monster that offers a distorted reflection of her own image (64).” In the face of movie screen terror, men and young boys make it a point of honor to look as the violent scene unfolds, while women and girls tend to cower and cover their eyes. Why is it that women refuse to look? According to Williams, it is because women are given so little to identify with on the screen. To look, means she must “bear witness to her own powerlessness in the face of rape, mutilation, and murder (61).”
Like the women in the audience, the female protagonist in classic narrative film often fails to return the gaze of the male who yearns for her because to see is to express desire (61). Blindness is used to signify an absence of desire. Since the blind woman cannot express desires of her own, the male character may voyeuristically regard her from a safe distance. The vamp archetype, on the other hand, represents a powerful female look. Her smoldering and wanton gaze upon the male threatens his power over her. Therefore, her gaze is always punished. Mary Ann Doane suggests, “the woman’s exercise of an active investigating gaze can only be simultaneous with her own victimization (61).” In other words, her curiosity and desire gets transformed into masochistic fantasy. It is the combination of both the desiring look of the male voyeur and the woman’s look of horror, that ultimately paralyzes her. Her trance-like passivity collapses the distance between the observer and the observed, which is crucial to the “pleasure” of the voyeur, and allows him to master her through her look (62). Nina’s hypnotic fascination with the vampire in F.W. Muranau’s Nosferatu (1922) is an excellent example of this.
Williams references other films like The Phantom of the Opera to discuss how the monster is either symbolically castrated (“He had no nose!”) or he is overly endowed and potent (“Yes he did, it was enormous!”) (63). The monster’s power resides in his sexual difference from the normal male. In the eyes of the traumatized male, the monster is remarkably like the woman, a feared power and potency outside of the phallic norm. This is how the affinity and flash of sympathetic identification develops between the woman and monster. “For she too has been constituted as an exhibitionist object by the desiring look of the male. There is not that much difference between an object of desire and an object of horror as far as the male look is concerned (63).” In the end, Williams concludes that what is feared in the woman is not her own mutilation as the “castrated other,” but her power to mutilate and transform the vulnerable male. I, however, suggest that the male image inherently carries the threat of rape for women, which further complicates our understanding of the female gaze.
To read Linda Williams's article, "When the Woman Looks" for yourself, click here.
In her seminal essay, Visual Pleasures and Narrative Cinema, Laura Mulvey uses psychoanalytic theory to demonstrate how the unconscious of patriarchal society has structured the form of film. According to Mulvey, woman’s on-screen image forms and reinforces phallocentric thought in two ways. First, woman symbolizes the threat of castration due her real absence of a penis and secondly, her child is raised into the realm of the symbolic. In other words, her maternal plenitude compensates for her lack. Mulvey states, “Woman’s desire is subjected to her image as bearer of the bleeding wound, she can exist only in relation to castration and cannot transcend it (58).” I beg to differ.
“Woman [...] stands in patriarchal culture as signifier for the male other, [...] in which man can live out his fantasies and obsessions through linguistic command by imposing them on the silent image of woman still tied to her place as bearer of meaning, not maker of meaning (58).” The hierarchy and power dynamics encouraged here are problematic. Surely, women can and already have surpassed the label of “male other” and bearer of castration anxiety. These thoughts then lead Mulvey to question how women can fight their oppression if their unconscious is structured within the language of patriarchy. In this sense, we are all predisposed to slightly more misogynistic tones due to the hegemonic reality of our society. This tendency is something I want to be acutely aware of in future writings. Thankfully, we do not have gendered words in the English language, so their influence upon cultural identity can be overlooked for this writing.
Alternative cinema must react against the obsessions and assumptions of Hollywood in order to exist as a counterpoint to it. The best of cinema, Mulvey explains, is through the skilled manipulation of visual pleasure. But what is visual pleasure for women? Mulvey states by analyzing pleasure, or beauty, we destroy it (59). My intention is not to destroy pleasure through analysis, but to better understand how men and women differ in their pursuit of it. How can we put this into visual terms? Mulvey believes it is through the thrill of leaving the past behind without rejecting it and daring to break away from normal pleasurable expectation in order to conceive of a new language of desire. This echoes my own sentiments completely.
Scopophilia is sexual stimulation through sight, often taking people as objects with a controlling and curious gaze. Mulvey uses scopophilia to explain the objectification of the female body. But how do women look at the male body? Film plays on and encourages voyeuristic fantasy and separation; a sensation that is enhanced in the ambience of the dimly lit movie theater. Film gives the voyeuristic illusion of looking in on a private world which simultaneously creates a loss of ego (I forgot who I am and where I was) and the ego ideal, a joyous recognition of the self through the glamour of movie stars.
Since I am attempting to invert the male gaze within my own work, I found that I was continuously flipping and replacing certain key words throughout the text. It started by simply replacing men with women, sadism with masochism, but then I realized that I was starting to replace “threat of castration” with “threat of rape.” This is challenge that repeatedly compromises the presence of the female gaze. How do women circumvent the threat of rape? Is it through masochism and submission? According to Mulvey, men use voyeurism and fetishism to escape castration anxiety. “The look, pleasurable in form, can be threatening in content [...] the male figure cannot bear the burden of sexual objectification. Man is reluctant to gaze at his exhibitionist like (62).” Woman, thusly, becomes his property and unpleasure.
For the most part, Mulvey’s text feels dated and out of touch with contemporary society. However, I believe her essay is an important component to my research as it continues be a major influence in feminist and cinematic theory. I am interested in finding contemporary criticism that incorporates new psychoanalytic theories so that I may better inform and answer the questions presented above.
Mulvey, Laura. Visual Pleasures and Narrative Cinema. Screen Magazine. 1973.
The female body has dominated the art world for decades. Her image continues to reinforce the power of the male gaze and all of its consequences: objectification, misogyny, sadism, etc. Over the course of the past year, I have been researching female artists and filmmakers who specifically address the difference between the way that women look at men versus the way that men look at women. In her seminal essay, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," Laura Mulvey suggests that woman’s on-screen image reinforces phallocentric thought due to her obvious lack of a penis, which in turn generates castration anxiety for the male. But what happens when a woman looks at the on-screen image of a man? The presence of a scopophiliac female gaze is constantly compromised by the woman’s real fears toward the male, which are directly informed from her existence in a patriarchal society. The question persists: Can a female gaze exist without the threat of rape? The purpose of my thesis, When A Woman Looks is to investigate the nuances of heterosexual desire from a female perspective. Louise Bourgeois, Maya Deren, Joan Semmel, Sarah Eliassen, and Cecily Brown are just a handful of female artists who have contributed to this audacious canon of art. It is my intention to create an erotic visual language that women can respond to without shame and sentimentality. Through video and sculpture, I seek to cultivate a proficiency in this visual language that has largely gone unexplored. My upcoming thesis exhibition will be merely a portion of the cinematic vision I hope to achieve within the next year.
When a Woman Looks follows a painter, a soldier, and a young woman through a dreamlike sequence of separate, but mirrored experiences. The artist quietly paints watercolors through a series of colorful layers and tedious marks. The soldier treks across an unforgiving dune-like terrain, persevering despite the physical trial of the task, to reach an unknown destination. The woman glides in and between these moments through a collection of her own obstacles. From tap dancing in porcelain shoes to escaping the grasp of a controlling husband, she navigates her own way through these moments by encountering and compromising with a different male character each time. It is my hope that the resulting film is one of strength and resilience; one that is free of accusation and malice. With enthusiasm, moxie and genuine curiosity at the forefront, When a Woman Looks has the potential to attract all who dare to look.
This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a lifelong source of exploration and experimentation. I look forward to sharing my future findings and thoughts with you all soon.
All the best,
The dreaded first critique of graduate school is officially over! I had spent the whole last year talking to people about graduate schools and grad critiques. I'd often hear things like, "They're pretty brutal," or "I know several people who cried during their critique." This kind of sentiment had me mentally preparing myself for the worst. I felt like I was sharpening the blades of intent to prepare for a battle of the minds in defending my work. Although I was asked some challenging questions, I certainly didn't feel personally attacked or wounded.
I presented three different works: a figurative sculpture, slip-cast bat embryos, and a video. All works are in progress. Above and below you can see images of the figurative piece, How Was Your Day? With this work I am interested in exploring human relationships, communication, and distraction. More writing and reflection will come once the piece is complete.
The slip-cast bat embryos were created in response to Carl Jung's writing on the shadow. According to Jung, the shadow represents an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not identify in itself. Because one tends to reject or remain ignorant of the least desirable aspects of one's personality, the shadow is largely negative.
A seven piece mold was used to create these five pieces. However there will be many more molds and many more bats used in the final piece. I will post a mold-making video in the near future for those of you that are interested in this process.
Many thanks to those of you who have given me feedback in-person and online. Please feel free to share your questions or comments below. It's good practice for me to confront and talk about these issues in any way that I can.
I would also like to give a huge thanks to Georgia State University for recognizing me as their first Scholar of Distinction. This was an incredible surprise and honor that was awarded on the strength of my portfolio. I am humbled.
I am also pleased to say that my two studio mates, Kelly Stevenson and Michelle Laxalt, will be joining me at the 2015 NCECA Student Juried Exhibition in Providence, RI. There we will represent 10% of the 30 chosen ceramic graduate students from all across the country. We are thrilled and look forward to seeing you all this March for NCECA at RISD! Cheers!
I have reached the halfway point of my first semester in graduate school and I am exhausted. I knew this was going to be challenging, but I have yet to strike any kind of balance. Reading, writing, working, sculpting...sprinkled with a little bit of sleeping and eating here and there. The work in the studio is slow. I've been trying to push myself to achieve a level of realism with the work that I have not attempted before. I am enjoying the process immensely, but, due to the time it takes to render in such detail, I feel very behind.
My colleagues are incredible. The studio dynamic is positive and energetic. Everyone is very hard working. Kelly Stevenson is in her third year, Ty Nicholson is in his second, and Michelle Laxalt is my wingman in her first year with me. They, along with the other studio grads, have easily been one of the greatest things about this experience so far.
I am very pleased to share some images of a recent trip to New York City, where Joe was an invited to participate in Art In Odd Places, Manhattan. He was one of 62 artists from all over the country that spent the weekend performing along 14th Street. Hyperallergic magazine actually wrote an article about the show. Check it out here! As you can see in the photo below, I was the official documentarian.
However, I had business in the city of my own. After months of work, I was finally able to deliver my commission to the Meany Family. The sculpture is of the six Meany children sitting on a log. Many thanks to Jeff for his support and patience!